Social media can be a powerful online advertising platform, but you have to know what consumers are saying and thinking to reach them with the right message at the right time, according to a majority of 237 senior level marketers surveyed by Web Liquid and RSW/US. Thus one of the main demands of these marketing execs was more and better information about online word-of-mouth.
Currently 74% of marketers surveyed by Web Liquid and RSW/US say they consider tracking online WOM an important part of their overall marketing programs, 68% say it provides valuable insights for marketing, and 63% said they intend to do more of it in the future -- but at the same time just 23% said they were "very satisfied" with the WOM-monitoring tools currently at their disposal. 57% said they were "somewhat satisfied" and 15% said they were not satisfied at all. Significantly, satisfaction rates were almost twice that for marketers using paid monitoring and analysis programs (versus free tools like Google Alerts, used by 59% of respondents).
Overall, the group varied in terms of familiarity with social media monitoring, with 50% of those surveyed describing themselves as "somewhat aware" of social media monitoring, and 40% describing themselves as "very aware."
In terms of usage, 28% said they employ social WOM data in their communications strategies, 18% for customer service enhancements, 14% for media planning, 12% for organic search optimization, 10% for paid search optimization, and 8% for display advertising optimization. 34% said their main marketing mission was building brand awareness, 32% said customer interaction and engagement, 18% lead acquisition, and 9% driving e-commerce sales.
Indeed, marketing departments were far and away the most frequent users of social WOM data, with 60% of respondents saying marketing was the primary user in their companies; customer service lagged far behind at 12%, sales even further at 10%, and e-commerce got a mere 7%.